How Insight Uses Your Donations

By an Act of Congress, information about the Talking Books patrons is confidential and the Library of Congress is prevented from sharing anything except the raw numbers of patrons with Insight and other participating agencies.  However, as you will read below some Talking Books patrons are so grateful to Insight for what we do that they make the effort to contact us.  Thus, much of our client information is anecdotal – and wonderful just the same!


We received a letter from a grateful Talking Books patron from Colorado who is now in his 70’s. “I first started listening to Talking Books in 1948 at the age of six. {Talking Books started as a program of the Library of Congress in 1933.}  My family lived on a farm and I would wait by the mailbox hoping that the mailman would bring some records.  At that time, the media was the 12 inch album with 15 minutes on each side and due to the limited availability we could only receive two books at a time.

As soon as a new book arrived I raced to the record player and began listening.  I hated to be dragged away to do my chores or even to eat a meal.  At night, when I was supposed to be in bed sleeping I would sneak downstairs and crouch over the Talking Books machine and turn the record with my finger and put my ear next to the arm and listen. If I turned the machine on it would hum loudly enough to wake my parents.  After finishing the books I would send them back and begin the wait anew as the days dragged by until two new Talking Books would arrive!

Today with computers and digital cassettes so much more can be put on one Talking Books cassette and I can even download magazines from the Library of Congress website.  It is you narrators at Insight for the Blind, who make the joy of reading a true pleasure. Whether it is a magazine or a much anticipated book it is always greeted with delight and a silent moment of thanks for you narrators and the staff behind you.  I know that the narrators that brought so much happiness to my early years are no longer reading, but they still live in my memory as their voices will always be with me – Talking Books have always brightened my days – and those special nights as a child!”